Saturday, December 28, 2013

Strawberry Mousse Chocolate Cake

This is a revised recipe of my strawberry mousse cake. I first made this cake for my mum's birthday and have since made it again for a Christmas family gathering. 



Ingredients

A) 1x chocolate sponge cake, cut into 2 even layers



B) 400g strawberry
     ¼ cup caster sugar
     1 tablespoon lemon juice
     1 teaspoon strawberry essence

C)  300ml cream
     3 tablespoons icing sugar
     ½ teaspoon pink food colouring (optional)

D) 1 tablespoon gelatine powder 
     50ml hot water 

E)  Extra strawberries sliced and cubed (as much as you like- I used approx 125g)


F)  100ml thickened cream
     1 tablespoon icing sugar, extra

G)  Sugar syrup glaze (optional)

H)  6 strawberries, halved for garnish 

Method

  1. Clean and hull 400g strawberries. Add ¼ cup caster sugar and let it sit for 5 minutes. Purée them in a blender and put it through the strainer. You should get about 400ml strawberry purée  Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon strawberry essence. Reserve 1½ tablespoons of this purée for the swirl effect.
  2. In a chilled bowl, whip 300ml cream with 3 tablespoons icing sugar till mousse state.
  3. Dissolve 1 tablespoon gelatine in 50ml hot water, whisk with a fork, let stand for 5 minutes then stir this into the strawberry purée
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. Add pink food colouring, if using. Pour into a measuring jug.
  5. Line the inner circumference of a spring form cake pan with plastic cake tape. Place a slice of the chocolate sponge cake at the base, cut side up and top it with half the mousse. Add in the strawberry pieces (leave a 2cm border around the cake). Press the fruits down gently if needed. Top it with some mousse just enough to cover the strawberry pieces.
  6. Top it with another layer of chocolate sponge cake and pour the rest of the mousse on it.
  7. Spoon teaspoonfuls of the reserved purée onto the surface of the mousse on desired positions and swirl it with a toothpick to create the swirls. I put a few teaspoons on the middle of the cake and the rest at clock position of 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
  8. Cover the cake pan with cling wrap (twice). Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  9. Brush the halved strawberries with sugar syrup. Set aside.
  10. Use an electric beater to beat 100ml thickened cream and 1 tablespoon icing sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. 
  11. Place the cream in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm fluted nozzle and pipe rosettes around the edge of the cake. Arrange some glazed strawberries around the cake between the cream rosettes. 
  12. Cut the cake into wedges to serve. 
To make sugar syrup:

100ml water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatine powder
  1. Pour water, sugar and gelatine powder into a small sauce pan.
  2. Stir the ingredients to combine over medium heat until the sugar and gelatine dissolves and the water begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Brush the glaze over fruit while slightly warm.
Notes & Tips

  • I lined the inner circumference of my spring form cake pan with plastic cake tape and trimmed my cake to be smaller than the spring form pan. This way the mousse will cover the whole cake and you don’t need to cream the cake. If you don't have any cake tape, use baking paper instead.
  • You can make your own plastic cake tape using acetate sheets bought from an arts & craft store. Start by measuring the height of the cake pan (approx 2.5 inches) and cut a long rectangular strip out of the acetate sheet (length of the strip is the circumference of the cake + 2 cm extra).
  • You could also decorate this cake with a patterned white chocolate collar if you wish
  • If you notice that you have not completely covered the cake with the mousse, you could do a bit of patchwork by using up the left over cream for the rosettes- add  ¼ tsp pink food coloring to the cream and spread/fill in the spaces and smooth it out using a cake scraper. 
  • If you don't have strawberry essence, you could use strawberry flavoured gelatine powder instead
  • You'll need approx. 3 punnets of strawberries for this recipe.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Piggy Cupcakes


Ingredients

1 dozen vanilla cupcakes, cooled
store bought white icing/frosting
pink food colouring
24 blue rainbow pearls (eyes)
12 white marshmallows (nose)
pink icing pen (nostrils)
12 pink marshmallows, halved (ears)

Method
  1. Tint the icing with the tiniest amount of pink food colouring. Mix very, very well.
  2. Spread a layer on each cupcake, making the surface smooth.
  3. Place the eyes on the Piggy's using the rainbow pearls.
  4. Place one white marshmallow for the nose.
  5. Using the pink icing pen, make 2 dots on the nose marshmallow to make nostrils.
  6. Take one pink marshmallow and cut through the centre. Pinch each end so they are pointy. Place on cupcake, cut side down as ears on the Piggy's face.
Notes & Tips

Make sure you give the Piggy a generous coating of icing so the marshmallows stick

If you wanted to make these cupcakes look more like Miss Piggy from the Muppets, you could add a set of eyelashes using a black icing pen and adding a bow (made from fondant) in between the ears

Friday, December 20, 2013

Reindeer Biscuits

I had a few packets of left over arrowroot biscuits from the Christmas Carols festival biscuit decorating stall I ran so thought I'd do my own decorating and make some reindeer biscuits for morning tea. These are also great to give away as Christmas gifts- just place a couple in a clear cellophane bag and tie up with some ribbon


Makes 16

Ingredients

1x 250g pkt Arrowroot biscuits (to make face)
1 cup milk chocolate melts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (1 tablespoon per 1 cup of chocolate)
8 mini white marshmallows (to make eyes)
Black icing pen (to make pupils)
16 red jaffas or red Cadbury mini drops (to make nose)
8 mini pretzels (to make antlers)

Method
  1. Cut mini marshmallows in half. Add a small drop of black food writing gel to the uncut side.
  2. Using a serrated knife, cut mini pretzels in half 
  3. Line a tray with non stick baking paper
  4. Place chocolate and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on medium for 30 seconds, stirring after each time until smooth. (The vegetable oil helps to make the chocolate glossy and runny).
  5. Dip one side of the biscuit into the melted chocolate, allow excess to drip off. Place onto tray. 
  6. Gently place 2 mini marshmallows, cut sides down onto biscuit (to make eyes)
  7. Gently place a red jaffa on the bottom of the biscuit (to make nose)
  8. Gently push 2 mini pretzels into the chocolate biscuit (to make antlers).
  9. Repeat with remaining biscuits
  10. Once all the biscuits are decorated, place the baking tray in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.
  11. Store decorated biscuits in an airtight container. Lay them flat with layers of baking paper in between each level
Notes & tips

Chocolate cools and hardens quickly after it melts, so it is best to have all your decorating items ready for assembly

Make sure chocolate is added to a dry bowl. Even one stray drop of water can cause melting chocolate to seize, or harden, ruining its texture and consistency. Seized chocolate won't melt smoothly, no matter how long you stir it.

You could create 8 reindeer with brown noses and 1 with a red nose just like in the story- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Turkish Rice Pilaf

There's a charcoal chicken takeaway place just up the road from where I live and I love eating the rice that is served with the chicken. Wanting to recreate the meal at home one day, I had a go at making my own Turkish rice pilaf. I'm not sure how authentic this Turkish rice pilaf recipe is but it tastes pretty similar to the take away place and was quite easy to whip up.


Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice
 cup risoni pasta
2 cups chicken stock
Olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder

Method
  1. Drizzle 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat and add the risoni when the oil has warmed up. Sautee the risoni until it browns.
  2. Add the rice and combine until everything is coated with the oil and toast together for about a minute. Add the stock (there will be a sizzle and steam) and a generous pinch of salt, bring to a boil, and cover. Drop the stove to very low and let cook for 20 minutes. Do not lift the cover to stir or even check progress.
  3. Once the 20 minutes has passed, uncover and stir the rice. If it still has some liquid in it, leave the cover off and keep over low heat, stirring frequently until it has evaporated. Drizzle over a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Serve.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sesame Street Character Cupcakes

I had some left over coloured frosting from the cookie decorating stall I ran at my church carol's festival last week. Colours left over were red, green, blue and yellow. Thought I'd use it to frost some cupcakes and was wondering to self how I could decorate them and Sesame Street characters came to mind. Since my bible study was also having a Xmas party a few days later (and there would lots of kiddies present) I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to whip up the cupcakes to use the left over frosting. Having never 'decorated' cupcakes before, I was pretty impressed with my creations. Big Bird took me the longest and I was having a lot of trouble piping his feathers because I didn't have the correct piping tip and the frosting was too runny. In the end I improvised and used a mini spatula to create some texture to the frosting.

Some things I would do differently if I were to make these again:

*use gel food colouring instead of liquid food colouring to colour the frosting/icing- it gives a more intense colour and you use less to get the same colour effect. Less liquid also means the icing is less runny. I found my icing hard to work/pipe with at times. To counteract this, I would add a bit more icing sugar and put it in the freezer for 10 mins to set. I would also put the decorated cupcake straight back into the fridge to prevent the icing from melting

* Have all the face bits pre-assembled and ready to go before you start decorating your cupcakes. This makes it easier to unleash your creativity ;)


Cookie Monster

Ingredients

1 dozen chocolate cupcakes, cooled
store bought white frosting/icing
blue food colouring
24 Nestle white chocolate melts & 24 brown mini M&Ms- for the eyes
12 mini chocolate chip cookies, halved (½ per monster with a few for breakage)- for the mouth
1 cup desiccated coconut (dyed blue)- for the fur

Method
  1. Add food colouring to frosting until you get to the Cookie Monster colour. This may be a lot if you are using liquid food colouring or a little if using gel food colouring.
  2. Fill a piping bag with a fluted nozzle and pipe on icing. Alternatively, use a spatula to spread the icing onto the cupcake
  3. Roll iced cupcake onto coconut, shake off excess
  4. Place 2 white chocolate melts on each cupcake
  5. Wedge cookies into the “mouth”

Notes & Tips
  • There is quite a bit of food colouring in these cupcakes for the blue icing. If this concerns you, use a natural food colouring.
  • To make the blue desiccated coconut- pour ½ cup desiccated coconut into a ziplock bag. Put in a few drops of liquid food colouring (not gel) and shake the bag vigorously. Spread the coconut out on baking paper to air dry for 24 hours. 
  • If after adding food colouring to the frosting makes it too runny, add some sifted icing sugar or put into the freezer for 10 minutes to help firm it up
Elmo

Ingredients

1 dozen chocolate cupcakes, cooled
red frosting (fur)
24 Nestle white chocolate melts + 24 brown mini M&Ms (eyes)
12 orange Cadbury Mini Drops (nose)
6 Oreo's, halved (mouth)

Method
  1. Using a grass effect piping tip, squeeze icing over cupcake to create 'fur'
  2. Assemble Elmo's face. For the nose, use an orange Cadbury Mini Drop. For the eyes, place a bit of frosting on the back of brown regular M&M’s and place them onto each white chocolate melt. For the mouth, use one side of an Oreo.
Notes & Tips

I found that cutting the Oreo directly in half was too large. So cut off less than half for each mouth. Use a serrated knife and saw it slowly back and forth. (You should be able to get 2 mouths from each Oreo half.)

Prep the eyes and Oreos first, before frosting the cupcakes with the Elmo fur. You don’t want the red fur to melt or get droopy while you’re doing the cutting. ALSO, after assembling each Elmo, place it in the fridge, to help set the frosting so it will stay furry looking and not melt together. HOWEVER, if you’re using better frosting than the store bought (from a tub) you may not have any issues if you adjust your frosting consistency.

Oscar the Grouch

Ingredients

1 dozen chocolate cupcakes, cooled
dark green frosting (fur)
24 Nestle white chocolate melts + 24 brown mini M&Ms (eyes)
6 Oreo's (mouth)
brown frosting/icing pen (eyebrows)

Method
  1. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a grass/fur piping tip with green frosting. Cover the surface of the cupcake to create 'fur'.
  2. Top each cupcake with a pair of eyes and an Oreo mouth
  3. Use a small star tip (many varieties will work) or a chocolate icing pen to pipe a brown set of eyebrows over the eyes. Don’t worry about making these neat…I don’t think Oscar is really into eyebrow maintenance. It’s Oscar the Grouch!
Big Bird

Ingredients

1 dozen vanilla cupcakes, cooled
yellow frosting (fur)
12 white marshmallows (beaks)
red icing pen (tongue)
small white chocolate melts & black icing  (eyes)
aqua & light pink icing pens (eyebrows)

Method
  1. Cut marshmallows into beak shapes with a pair of scissors
  2. Place a beak on each cupcake, using a small dollop of frosting to glue it on
  3. Cover the marshmallows with yellow frosting. It doesn't need to be neat yet, just enough to cover them
  4. Use a small offset spatula or a knife to smooth the frosting over the beak
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a "V" tip with yellow frosting. Make a ring of yellow feathers around the perimeter of the cupcake
  6. Repeat this process, working from the outside in, until the surface of the cupcake has been completely covered by "feathers"
  7. Add a set of eyes just above the beak. Pipe a thin line of aqua and light pink frosting over the eyeballs.
  8. Using the red icing pen, pipe a small inverted triangle inside the beak to create the tongue.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls

These sweet, bite sized chocolate balls remind me of the chocolate bar Bounty. Pure indulgence :)


Makes approx. 25

Ingredients

1 cups icing sugar
1½ cups desiccated coconut
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup dark or milk chocolate melts
1 cup white chocolate melts

Optional ingredients: flaked coconut, chopped almonds, sprinkles

Method
  1. In a large bowl, combine the icing sugar, coconut and milk.
  2. Shape into small balls (approx 15g each). Place onto a tray with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  3. Melt milk chocolate and white chocolate melts, in separate bowls, one at a time, in a microwave on medium for 30 seconds, stirring after each time until smooth.
  4. Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. 
  5. Using a toothpick, dip balls into melted chocolate, allow excess to drip off. Place onto tray; repeat with remaining coconut balls. 
  6. Once all the balls are coated in chocolate, Place the remaining melted chocolate into separate paper piping bags. Drizzle the same or opposite colour chocolate over the coconut balls, allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and then serve.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes


Recipe from Australian Good Taste magazine, February 2011 issue, page 16

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ cups caster sugar
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly whisked
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red food colouring

2 x 250g pkt cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
120g butter, extra, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, extra
Red sprinkles

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line fifteen 80ml ( cup) capacity muffin pans with paper cases. Sift flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir through the sugar. Whisk the buttermilk, butter, eggs, vinegar and vanilla in a large jug until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture. Stir until just combined. Stir in the food colouring.
  2. Divide the mixture among the lined pans (approx. 1½ tablespoons each). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, extra butter and extra vanilla until smooth
  4. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and top with the sprinkles.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Roasted Carrot Dip

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens, Episode 38, aired on 18th October 2013

Ingredients

500g carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cinnamon quills
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon cream cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper
dukka, to sprinkle
crackers, to serve

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Place carrots, unsalted butter, cinnamon and water into a roasting pan. Cover with foil. Poke some holes through the foil. 
  3. Roast carrots for 1¾ hours, cool for 15 minutes. Discard the cinnamon quills then transfer the carrots into a food processor. Add honey, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Blend till smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the dukkah and serve with crackers
Notes & Tips

Healthy alternative: substitute the cream cheese with cottage cheese

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Salmon Nicoise


Recipe adapted from Masterchef- February 2012 issue, page 70

Serves 4

Ingredients

600g baby potatoes
200g green beans
4 eggs
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
4 x 150g skinless, boneless salmon pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
250g cherry tomatoes
1 butter lettuce
70g kalamata olives

White wine vinaigrette

1 eschalot
½ lemon
1 clove garlic
¼ bunch basil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 anchovy fillets

Method
  1. Scrub potatoes. Place in a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Trim beans, add to pan, then cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, then refresh under cold water. Add eggs to saucepan and cook for 7 minutes for almost hard-boiled.
  3. To make vinaigrette, chop eschalot and place in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze over 1 tablespoon lemon juice and crush over garlic. Pick basil leaves and add with mustard, vinegar, oil and anchovies. Process until smooth.
  4. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Drizzle oil over fish. Roughly chop fennel seeds, scatter over fish, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until just cooked. Rest in pan for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1.5cm-thick rounds and place in a bowl. Halve tomatoes. Add to potatoes with beans and half the dressing, then toss to combine. Peel and slice eggs then add to bowl. Wash and dry lettuce, then toss in a separate bowl with remaining dressing.
  6. Layer potato mixture, lettuce and salmon on a platter, flaking salmon as you go. Scatter with olives to serve.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste magazine, January 1997, page 12

Makes 12 slices

Ingredients

1 lemon
100g butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup yoghurt
175g self-raising flour, sifted
icing sugar, to dust

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm square cake pan with the melted butter or margarine.
  2. Finely grate the lemon rind, then juice the fruit. 
  3. Use electric beaters to beat butter and the sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yoghurt, reserved rind and juice. Beat until combined.
  5. Gently fold in the sifted flour with a large metal spoon until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dean. Remove from oven and place cake pan on a wire rack to cool.
  6. To serve, turn the cake onto a serving plate and remove the cake pan. 
  7. Dust with icing sugar when cake has cooled




Monday, September 16, 2013

Lemon Myrtle Salmon

I was inspired to recreate this Lemon Myrtle Salmon dish I had from Hog's Breath. Who would've thought that their fish would taste as delicious as their steaks?

Here's the recipe for my version:




Ingredients
4 salmon fillets approx. 150g each
2 teaspoons lemon myrtle, ground
¼ teaspoon chilli, ground
olive oil spray
¼ teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
potato mash, salad leaves and lemon wedges, to serve

Method
In a small bowl, mix together the lemon myrtle & chilli. 
Spray flesh side of salmon with a bit of olive oil spray then sprinkle and rub in the spices (only on the flesh side of the salmon).
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side down to pan and cook for 4-5 mins.
Flip and cook on the other side for another minute or so. 
Serve salmon on a bed of potato mash, with salad on the side.

for the potato mash
approx. 800g potato, peeled & chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
40g butter, chopped
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Cook potato and garlic in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan with the butter. Use a potato masher or fork to mash until smooth. Add milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

for the salad
120g mixed salad leaves
½ red capsicum, deseeded & sliced
½ cucumber, cut lengthways then sliced
125g mushrooms, sliced
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, julienned
1 ripe avocado, sliced

for the dressing
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine honey, vinegar and oil in a jug. Stir until well combined.
Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Salmon & Spiced Quinoa

Recipe adapted from Woolworths Magazine, September 2013 issue, page 46

Serves 4

Ingredients

½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
½ red capsicum, diced
1 carrot, diced
125g button mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon Moroccan spice seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 salmon fillets
olive oil spray
lemon wedges, to serve

Method
  1. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat. Set aside, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, garlic and spice. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until carrot is just soft. Add to quinoa with parsley and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat. Spray fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, depending on thickness, or until cooked through. Serve with quinoa and lemon.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grilled Cajun Prawns Sweet Potato Mash & Holy Trinity Veg

Loving my Jamie Oliver cookbook at the moment! So many more recipes to try out! Here's another one of his yummy recipes.

Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 120

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Oven grill on high *Food processor (thick slicer) *Large lidded pan, high heat *Large frying pan, medium heat

Serves 4
Ingredients
Mash

800g sweet potatoes

Prawns
20 large raw shell on tiger prawns
3 cloves of garlic
1½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ a bunch of fresh thyme
1 lemon

Vegetables
1 green capsicum
1 red capsicum
4 shallots
1 long red chilli, deseeded
310g tinned corn kernels
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice

Method

Wash the sweet potatoes and slice in the processor. Put into the lidded pan with a pinch of salt, then cover with boiling water and the lid. Put the prawns into a roasting tray, squash over the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, then toss with the Cajun seasoning, olive oil and the thyme sprigs. Spread out in a single layer and pop on a high heat for a couple of minutes to crisp the bottoms of the prawns up, then place under the grill until the tops are sizzling, golden and crispy.

Deseed and roughly chop the capsicums and put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Trim and slice the spring onions and chilli, and add to the pan along with the corn and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and keep things moving.

When cooked through, drain the sweet potatoes in a colander. Return to the pan and mash well. Scatter the veg and avocado over the mash and serve with the crispy prawns and lemon wedges.

Notes: 
I omitted the cheese in the sweet potato mash and added 1 ripe avocado to the vegetables. I also increased the number of prawns from 16 to 20 since I thought it'd be nice for each person to have an extra prawn :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Salmon with Snow Peas & Soba Noodles

Coles Magazine, July 2013 issue page 19

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g skinless boneless salmon fillets
70ml teriyaki sauce
200g snow peas
270g pkt soba noodles
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch sugar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C or 180°C fan, and line an oven tray with baking paper. Brush the salmon with 2 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to rest.
  2. Meanwhile, place the snow peas in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 2 minutes, then drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water to refresh (this stops them cooking and preserves the colour). Drain, then spread over a clean tea towel and gently pat dry. Trim the tops and thinly slice lengthways.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the soba noodles, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain well. Rinse under cold water. Drain well again. Combine the snow peas, noodles and spring onion in a bowl. Combine the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and remaining teriyaki sauce. Drizzle over the noodle mixture. Toss to combine.
  4. Break the salmon into pieces, and serve on the noodle mixture, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Indian Fish Curry

Recipe adapted from Coles Magazine, July 2013 page 55

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 brown onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon ginger, grated
2 bird's eye chillies, chopped
750g white fish fillets, cut into 3cm pieces
500g jar Patak's Korma simmer sauce
¼ cup water
200g Perino tomatoes
1 cup frozen baby peas
¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted, to serve
¼ cup coriander leaves, to serve
Naan bread, to serve

Method
  1. Cook rice following packet directions
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add almonds and toss or stir for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Add the onion, garlic, chillies and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until onions are soft. Add fish, simmer sauce and water. Cook for 5 minutes or until fish is opaque. Add tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes or until soft.
  4. Top curry with almonds and coriander and serve with rice and naan bread.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chocolate Fondant

Recipe from Masterchef season 2

Ingredients


Melted butter, for greasing
Cocoa powder, for dusting (approx ¼ cup)
200g dark couverture chocolate
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
100g butter, extra
vanilla ice cream and berries, to serve

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a small square of paper in the bottom of 6 ramekins and grease with melted butter and cocoa powder. Place ramekins on a baking tray.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water, turn off heat. In an electric mixer, add the eggs, egg yolks and sugar and mix on high speed until fluffy and white. Tip chocolate mixture into a large bowl, pour egg mixture into chocolate mixture and fold together. Fold in flour and mix until smooth. Spoon or pour mixture into ramekins and bake in oven for 8-9 minutes.
  3. place in fridge until ready to serve. When ready to serve, bake in oven for 8-9 minutes.
  4. To serve, gently run knife along outside of each ramekin and turn fondant out into serving bowls.
Notes & Tips

Fondant mixture can be prepared ahead of time. Place in fridge until ready to serve. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes
Serve chocolate fondants with vanilla ice cream and mixed berries

Berries in syrup:

Ingredients
2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen, thawed)

Method:
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold. Combine mixed berries and syrup in a bowl. Stir gently to coat berries.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Beef Shakshuka with Smoked Eggplant

This is a modern take on the classic Middle Eastern breakfast dish, Shakshuka. It's a pretty impressive one-pan meal and really fills you up!

Recipe adapted from Yottam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

4 eggplants (aubergines) (1.1kg gross)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped (200g net)
6 garlic cloves, finely diced (20g net)
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (add up to ½ teaspoon for extra heat)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons tomato paste
300g beef mince
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (100g net)
2 teaspoons (15g) finely chopped preserved lemon
4 eggs
¾ teaspoon sumac
3 teaspoons chopped parsley

Tahini sauce
40g tahini paste
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons water

Method

Use a sharp knife to pierce the eggplant in a few places and place each directly over a naked flame on the stovetop. Cook on medium heat, turning occasionally with metal tongs, for 20 minutes, or until outside is totally burnt and eggplant starts to collapse on itself.

Alternatively, place the pierced eggplant on baking tray lined with foil and place under a hot grill, turning every 20 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from tray and place in a colander. Cut a single slit in each eggplant, from top to base, and allow the juices to strain. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, avoiding all black skin, and set aside. You should have about 370 g eggplant flesh.

To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the ingredients until thick and rich. You may need to add a splash of water if it is stiff.

Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, cinnamon and cumin and sauté for 6 minutes, until softened and coloured a bit. Add the beef, salt and some black pepper. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, for 5–6 minutes, or until browned well. Mix in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, preserved lemon and eggplant flesh and cook for another 5 minutes. Add up to 90 ml of water if the sauce is becoming very thick. Make four small wells in the mix and break an egg into each. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the eggwhites are cooked but the yolks are still runny. Covering the pan with a lid will hasten the process but will make the yolks look a bit cloudy.

Remove from the heat and dot with dollops of tahini sauce, sprinkle with sumac and finish with the parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake


Ingredients

200g butter, chopped
180g dark chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
4 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar, sifted
2 cups almond meal
Icing sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream and strawberries/raspberries, to serve

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Grease a 6cm deep, 20cm round (base) springform cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
  2. Place butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted and combined. Remove from heat. Transfer to bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes or until thick. Set aside
  4. Add chocolate mixture and almond meal to egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold half the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Repeat with remaining egg whites. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool cake completely in pan. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with cream and strawberries/raspberries.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Donna Hay's Porcini Mushroom & Chicken Pie

Recipe from Donna Hay No Time To Cook, page 156

Ingredients

16g dried porcini mushrooms
¼ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 x 140g chicken thigh fillets, cubed
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup chicken stock
¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
½ cup flatleaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
6 sheets (25cm x 25cm) store-bought puff pastry, thawed
lightly beaten egg, for brushing
onion slices, for topping
salad leaves, to serve

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place porcini in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserve soaking liquid and chop porcini finely.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until onion softens slightly. 
  3. Add chicken, cook 2 minutes more, stir in flour then add porcini, reserved soaking liquid and stock and cook for 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  4. Stir in peas and parsley, remove from heat and set mixture aside to cool for 30 minutes. 
  5. Cut 12 pastry rectangles measuring 10cm x 12cm (or divide pastry sheets into 4 squares). Place 6 pastry rectangles on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and divide chicken mixture among them (1/3 cup each).
  6. Brush edges of the pastry with egg, cover with remaining pastry rectangles and press edges to seal. Top with onion slices, brush pies with egg and bake for 18 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve with salad leaves. 
  7. To freeze, wrap the pies in baking paper, then plastic wrap and aluminium foil to seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Christmas Biscotti

Last Christmas, a friend of mine gave me some home baked biscotti as a Chrissie pressie. Hubby and I loved eating them so much that we devoured it in a matter of minutes. I was really inspired to create my own version but never got around to it until today. This was also my first time at baking biscotti :)

Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas Magazine, December 2008 issue, page 43

Makes 30 pieces

Ingredients

½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
 cups plain flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup dried Greek fig, chopped
¼ cup glace cherries, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1½ teaspoon orange zest

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease.
  2. Place sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add flour, baking powder, Greek fig, glacé cherries, orange rind and dried cranberries. Stir to combine. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Shape into a 30cm log. Place on prepared tray and flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on tray for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140°C/120°C fan-forced. Using a serrated knife, slice log diagonally into 5mm-thick slices, discarding ends.
  4. Place slices, in a single layer, on 2 baking paper-lined baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over halfway or until dry and crisp. Stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Notes & Tips

Place biscotti into clear cellophane gift bags tied with ribbon to give away as gifts

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Beef Kofta Curry Fluffy Rice, Beans & Peas

I couldn't find the ready to eat Puy lentils in this recipe so I substituted with 3/4 cup green lentils which I soaked overnight. I also added 1 grated onion and halved the quantity of the rice ingredients. Below is my modified recipe.

Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals page 66

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Large frying pan, high heat *Medium lidded casserole pan, high heat *Liquidizer (blender)

Ingredients
Curry
¾ cup green lentils (soaked overnight)
1 heaped teaspoon garam masala
500g lean beef mince
1 onion, grated
olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (1 teaspoon grated ginger)
2 spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 heaped teaspoon Patak's rogan josh curry paste
270ml tin of light coconut milk
4 tablespoons fat-free yoghurt, to serve
1 lemon

Rice
½ mug of 10-minute wholegrain or basmati rice
5 cardamon pods
100g green or yellow beans
100g frozen peas
2 uncooked poppadoms

Method

Put the lentils into a bowl with salt, pepper, the garam masala, mince and onion, then mix and scrunch together with clean hands. Divide the mixture in half, then with wet hands quickly squeeze and mould each half into 6 fat fingers. Put them into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning when golden.

Put ½ mug of rice, 1 mug of boiling water and the cardamon pods into the casserole pan, then halve and add the beans and put the lid on. Squash the tomatoes into the liquidizer, add the peeled ginger, trimmed spring onions, half the chilli, the coriander stalks, turmeric, honey, curry paste and coconut milk, then blitz until combined. Pour into the kofta pan, bring to the boil, then simmer and season to taste.

Take the lid off the rice, add the peas, mix it all up and give it just a few more minutes. Crack up the uncooked poppadoms and pop them in the microwave (800W) for a minute or two to puff up. Finely slice the remaining chilli and the coriander leaves and scatter them over the curry, dollop with yoghurt, then serve with lemon wedges, poppadoms and the rice, beans and peas.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Salmon with Mediterranean Vegetables

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Rules 2013, Season 4 

Ingredients

Vegetable oil, to rub
4 x 150g skinless salmon fillets

Herb sauce
¼ bunch parsley leaves
¼ bunch basil leaves
½ bunch mint leaves
10g pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, peeled
juice of ½ lemon
25g parmesan, grated
75ml grape seed oil or rice bran oil

Mediterranean vegetables
1 small red capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
1 small yellow capsicum, cut into 3cm pieces
1 red onion, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 small zucchini, cut into 3cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to season

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. To make Mediterranean vegetables, combine all ingredients in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast, turning halfway through, for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
  3. To make herb sauce, place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. With the motor still running, slowly pour in oil until combined. Refrigerate until required.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Rub oil all over salmon and season with salt and pepper. Add salmon to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside, lightly covered, for 3 minutes.
  5. Divide vegetables among serving plates, then place 1 piece of salmon on top. Spoon a little herb sauce on top to serve.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Smoky Chicken, Chorizo & Chickpeas

Recipe from Coles Magazine May 2013 issue page 26

Ingredients

600g chicken thigh fillets, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
250g chorizo, sliced
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tomato, chopped
1 long red chilli, sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley

Method
  1. Place chicken, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, paprika and cumin in a bowl. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins, to marinate.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Cook chicken for 2-3 mins each side, until golden. Remove from pan.
  3. Cook chorizo and chickpeas in same pan, stirring, for 2-3mins, until golden. Return chicken to pan with any pan juices. Drizzle over balsamic and simmer, covered, for 5 mins, until chicken is heated. Stir through tomato, chilli and parsley.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Fettuccine, Smoked Trout, Asparagus & Peas


Recipe adapted from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 188

* Ingredients out * Kettle boiled * Medium pan, high heat * Large lidded pan, high heat * Stick blender

Pasta
1 small bunch of spring onions
1 bunch of asparagus (300g)
olive oil
300g frozen baby peas
1 big bunch of fresh mint
1 tablespoon plain flour
385ml evaporated milk
320g dried fettuccine
250g hot-smoked trout (or salmon)
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Salad & dressing
50g mesclun salad leaves
a few sprigs of fresh tarragon
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon runny honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon
1 heaped tablespoon fat-free natural yoghurt

Method

Roughly slice the trimmed spring onions and asparagus stalks, leaving the tips whole. Set aside the asparagus tips. Put the trimmed spring onions and asparagus stalks into the medium pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the peas. Roughly chop most of the top leafy half of the mint, and add it to the pan. Stir in the flour, pour in the milk and bring to the boil, then simmer. Put the pasta into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.

Empty the salad leaves into a salad bowl. Pick over the tarragon and the remaining mint leaves. Spoon the mustard and honey into a small bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon and the yoghurt, mix together and season to taste.

Using the stick blender, purée the asparagus sauce until fairly smooth. Turn the heat down to low, flake in the trout, add the asparagus tips and simmer for a few more minutes, then squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice and season to taste. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed. Serve straight away, with a grating of Parmesan and the salad, dressing it at the table.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Mushroom Farfalle Blue Cheese Hazelnut & Apple Salad

Recipe from Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 196

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Large frying pan, medium-high heat *Large lidded pan, high heat *Small frying pan, medium heat *Food processor (bowl blade)

Ingredients
Pasta
25g dried porcini mushrooms
olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic
½ a small dried chilli
250g chestnut mushrooms
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
320g dried farfalle
1 tsp truffle oil
1 lemon
½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
150g low-fat cottage cheese

Salad
50g blanched hazelnuts
200g baby spinach
1 eating apple
40g blue cheese
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Method

Put the porcini into a mug and just cover with boiling water. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the large frying pan, squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher, crumble in the dried chilli and tear in the mushrooms. Strip in the thyme leaves, then add the soaked porcini and toss and fry for a few minutes. Put the pasta into the large pan, cover with boiling salted water and cook according to packet instructions.

Toast the hazelnuts in the small frying pan until golden, tossing regularly. Put the spinach into a salad bowl, coarsely grate over or matchstick and add the apple, then crumble over the blue cheese. Crush the toasted nuts in a pestle and mortar, then scatter over the salad. Tip the mushrooms into the processor and whiz until fairly smooth, then return to the pan and add 3 small ladles of pasta cooking water and the truffle oil, season to taste and simmer gently.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of the starchy cooking water, then toss the pasta with the sauce, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed. Finely grate over the lemon zest, finely chop and add most of the top leafy half of the parsley along with the cottage cheese, then toss together and serve straight away. Drizzle the salad with extra virgin olive oil, squeeze over the juice of the zested lemon and serve on the side.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seared Salmon with Orange, Fennel & Beetroot Salad

Recipe adapted from Coles Magazine, April 2013 issue, page 44

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 oranges
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved and very finely sliced
50g baby rocket
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 x 180g fresh salmon fillets
250g baby beetreet, cooked, quartered

Method
  1. Using a small sharp knife, cut skin and white pith from oranges. Holding an orange in your hand over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membrane to release segments. Place orange segments on a plate and squeeze membrane to extract more juice. Repeat with the other orange.
  2. Combine orange segments, onion, fennel and rocket in a bowl. Use a fork to whisk extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and mustard into orange juice, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook salmon over medium-high heat for 3 minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking.
  4. Toss the salad with dressing and arrange on four plates. Add the beetroot and salmon and then serve immediately.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Fettuccine

Recipe modified from Latina Fresh

Serves 4

Ingredients

375g fresh egg fettuccine 
finely grated zest and juice of a large lemon
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup baby capers
200g smoked salmon, cut into strips
½ small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
125g fresh ricotta
cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Place a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. 
  2. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice and oil until it becomes creamy. 
  3. Add the grated lemon zest, capers, salmon strips and parsley. 
  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to pack directions. Drain and toss with the salmon mixture.
  5. Spoon on the ricotta and gently stir through the pasta, season with freshly ground pepper.
  6. Divide between bowls and serve immediately


Tip: Try dill instead of parsley for a flavour variation

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ma Po Tofu with Snake Beans

This is another one of my mum's recipes. She's put her own spin on the home style dish "ma po tofu" by adding snake beans and a few other ingredients. I love how easy it is to prepare this dish and how delicious it tastes.


Ingredients

500g pork mince
1 teaspoon cornflour
4 tablespoons Amoy Ma Po Tofu Sauce
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon oil
100g snake beans, cut into 2cm pieces
300g silken tofu, diced

Method
  1. Season the pork with the cornflour and a bit of pepper
  2. Mix all the sauces together- ma po tofu, tomato and sweet chilli sauce in a bowl then set aside
  3. Add oil to wok over high heat, add the pork, stir fry until browned, then add the beans
  4. When the pork and beans are almost cooked, add the sauces and mix well, then add the diced tofu. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beef and Bean Stir Fry

Recipe adapted from Thai Creative Cooking page 56-57

Ingredients

2 teaspoons baking soda
500g topside or round steak, cut into thin strips
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
185g snake or green beans, cut into 10cm lengths
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons coriander

Method
  1. Marinate the beef with the baking soda for 20 minutes and then rinse the beef thoroughly (make sure that the beef is properly rinsed clean of the baking soda). Pat the beef dry with paper towels and then marinate with the sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce. Mix well, cover and let marinate several hours or overnight, refrigerate.
  2. Heat oil and garlic together in a wok over a medium heat, increase heat to high, add beef and stir fry for 3 minutes, or until beef turns colour.
  3. Add beans, lime leaves, sugar, soy, fish sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes or until beans turn colour. Stir in coriander and serve immediately.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blueberry & Pear Slice

Recipe by Justine Schofield from Everyday Gourmet


Ingredients

200g caster sugar
2 eggs
Zest ½ a lemon
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
150ml milk
110g butter
150g almond meal
5 tbs flour, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
2 pears, roughly chopped
100g fresh blueberry

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease and line a rectangular slice tin with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla together until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Melt butter and add to milk. Mix into the egg mixture until well combined.
  5. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold together with a wooden spoon until an even batter has formed.
  6. Add the blueberries and pears and combine.
  7. Cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals Thai Chicken Laksa

Today is day 6 of my Jamie Oliver challenge.

This meal took me about 25 minutes to cook. I think because I took longer, I ended up boiling off some of the liquid and once the noodles went into the pot, it absorbed all the liquid hence my laksa didn't end up "soupy". But, it still tasted fantastic! Bursting with lots of flavours. Whoever thought a tasty laksa could be created in less than half an hour?! The only change I would make next time, would be to increase the amount of chicken since there didn't seem like there was enough to go with the amount of noodles.

Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 44


Serves 4
656 calories

Ingredients

Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 fresh red chilli

Laksa
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
½ butternut pumpkin,
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ a bunch of spring onions
1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
4 dried kaffir lime leaves
½ a bunch of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
300g medium rice noodles
2 bunches of asparagus (600g)
1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk
2-3 limes

*Ingredients out *Kettle boiled *Griddle pan, high heat *Large lidded pan, high heat *Food processor (coarse grater & bowl blade)

Method

On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and the five spice. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin. Place on the hot griddle pan, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through. Pour about 800ml of boiling water into the large pan and crumble in the stock cube.

Grate in the food processor, then tip into the boiling stock. Swap to the bowl blade in the processor and add the peeled garlic and ginger, the chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), sesame oil, soy and fish sauces. Blitz to a paste, then tip into the stock and add the noodles.

Trim the asparagus and cut in half. Add to the pan, pour in the coconut milk and as soon as it boils, taste, correct the seasoning with soy sauce and lime juice, then turn the heat off. Drizzle the honey over the charred chicken, squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, scatter with the sesame seeds and toss to coat. Serve with the laksa and lime wedges, sprinkling everything with the coriander leaves and slices of fresh chilli.
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